March 4, 2021

Engaged on new voter app, postal poll for outdated: Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa



Forward of the Bihar meeting elections, the Election Fee of India is carefully assessing numerous election procedures that may be affected as a consequence of Covid-19. The primary take a look at of ballot preparedness amid the pandemic, nonetheless, comes on Thursday when the Rajya Sabha elections shall be held. Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa speaks to Anubhuti Vishnoi. Excerpts.

ON CHALLENGES IN HOLDING RAJYA SABHA POLLS

The important thing problem is to finish the election course of by totally adhering to pandemic-related pointers by way of restriction on motion and sustaining social distance. The EC had efficiently made all preparations for the Maharashtra MLC polls within the atmosphere of the current public well being emergency and has issued detailed directions for the forthcoming RS elections.

ON VOTING BY MLAS IN QUARANTINE

The EC will contemplate particular requests acquired from the chief election officers based mostly on the medical recommendation in such circumstances by the related competent authorities. EC is open to adopting possible measures to allow participation of all eligible members of the Electoral School. Separate voting facility is being offered, if required, based mostly on thermal screening on the polling premises.

ON FUTURE ELECTIONS DURING THE PANDEMIC

EC has taken word of the worldwide expertise concerning conduct of polls and is alive to new procedures being tried in nations which have performed elections. An evaluation of procedures at numerous phases of the election in India that may be affected is being carried out. Each nation has its personal context and a view must be taken based mostly on the circumstances they get hold of within the Indian context. EC has handled unexpected conditions up to now and would take the requisite steps necessitated in a scenario, which is basically dynamic.

ON VOTERS IN QUARANTINE

We must take a thought of view on this. Whereas postal poll choices are there for senior residents and individuals with disabilities by a previous utility system, Covid circumstances have totally different implications altogether. We shall be weighing all choices on this. In the meantime, the Fee has really helpful to the Ministry of Legislation and Justice that voters above the age of 65 can vote by postal ballots. An appropriate SVEEP (Systematic Voter Schooling and Electoral Participation) technique shall be accordingly devised. Consumer-friendly technological purposes would play an necessary half –– say, ones that may inform a voter on the group ranges at her polling sales space to make sure bodily distancing. Rationalisation of polling stations to avoiding crowding is into consideration.

ON BIHAR ELECTION SCHEDULE

There isn’t any purpose for the EC to rethink any timeline for the Bihar meeting elections within the current circumstances. Obligatory preparations are underway at totally different ranges within the Fee and on the state and districts.

ON POLITICAL CONSULTATIONS ON THE ISSUE…

The EC has at all times believed in a consultative course of and all stakeholders, together with political events, could be consulted as required in order that their issues are taken word of and suitably addressed.

ON THE PENDING BYPOLLS The EC is preserving a detailed watch on the pandemic. Some bypolls needed to be postponed because of the lockdown. Nevertheless, the EC will evaluation the scenario because it evolves.